Ryan W. McMaken
July 7, 2012
The latest on Rand (linked by Robert Wenzel) makes it clear that Senator Paul should be regarded simply as any other politician in Congress. He’s better than the Chuck Schumers of the world, certainly, but there’s no reason to view him as anything unusual in the D.C. machine.
At the same time, I don’t understand the visceral hatred for him that is held by many Ron Paul followers. They seem to have even more hatred for Rand Paul than for far worse politicians like Orrin Hatch, for example. This seems to be based on some kind of feeling of betrayal, but anyone who was paying attention would have noticed that Rand has distanced himself from libertarians since day one. I don’t see any betrayal here. In fact, Rand has (alas) delivered pretty much what he said he would back during his Kentucky election campaign.
Even more outlandish is the belief, held by some Paulians, that Ron Paul should publicly denounce Rand. Good luck with that one, amigo! Ron Paul doesn’t even denounce people like Ben Bernanke. Certainly he denounces the ideas behind people like Bernanke, but Ron has never been in the business of attacking people for their ideas. So now he’s supposed to denounce his own son? Not going to happen.
The key difference here is that Rand pretty clearly really wants to get re-elected, or better yet, get elected to some higher office. He’s also very interested in passing laws.
None of these things ever interested Ron Paul, which is why he’s such an excellent libertarian. He’s not interested in playing the game of politics, and has never done it very much. Amazingly, though, he’s had more success with his campaign against the Fed than anyone else in 100 years.
It seems that Rand has done a few good things in the Senate and should be praised for those things, just as Barney Frank has done some good things in the House (like co-sponsoring with Ron Paul a bill to de-criminalize marijuana.) That doesn’t make Frank a libertarian or Ron Paul’s successor, and the same is true of Rand Paul.
Much of the disappointment may also come from the persistent belief among some Paulians that the answer to the current crisis lies in politics. It does not. The politicians are followers, not leaders in the war of ideas, and that war has yet to be won. Politics won’t save us.
That’s not to say I’m opposed to the success of the Paulians in re-shaping the state GOP parties. Anything that so greatly upsets the GOP leadership must be a good thing. The delegate strategy greatly vexes, annoys, and slows down the GOP’s establishment agenda. That’s a good thing.